Tag Archives: Andrew Copson

AHS Convention 2013 – Talks In Full

Here are some of the talks in full from the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies annual convention – held on 2nd March 2013 at Conway Hall in London.

Andrew Copson


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Jim Al-Khalili
In his first speech as new President of the British Humanist Association.


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Natalie Haynes


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Polly Toynbee


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Episode 166 – 14th December 2012

Jim Al-Khalili is announced as the new British Humanist Association President and we speak to the BHA’s Chief Exec about what the amazing new census numbers mean for non-religious people in the UK. It’s not so great for non-believers elsewhere though as a new report shows – and we also pick apart the Snoopers Charter, which was shot down this week by Nick Clegg. Plus a new mental health manual could have a big impact, why Northern Ireland is still flagging, and why Erasmus Darwin was awesome.



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Census Results and a new BHA President (2:11) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Andrew Copson)
Atheist Persecution Worldwide (9:11) by Bob Churchill
Snooper’s Charter Slapdown (19:56) by Jenny Woods
Mental Health Diagnosis Pronosis (29:35) by Max Davie
Reviewing Peer Review (36:30) by Drew Rae
Flying The Flag (42:13) by Rory Fenton (ft Brian McClinton)
Erasmus Darwin (48:48) by Philip John
Video Codecs (55:11) by Trent Burton

Jenny’s Follow-Up Links:

Other Follow-Up Links:

Episode 133 – 27th April 2012

This week we speak to Robin Ince about the Voltaire Lecture, Senal Edamaruku about his debunking of a Catholic ‘miracle’, find out why elected mayors are a good idea and much more!


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Holy Redundant (2:50) by James O’Malley (ft Andrew Copson)
Sanal Edamaruku on Catholic Miracles (8:03) by Salim Fadhley
The Voltaire Lecture (20:01) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Robin Ince)
Droughts and Rain (29:20) by Duncan Geere
Elected Mayors (33:31) by Cory Hazlehurst
London’s Candidates (41:13) by Adam Jacobs
Liverpool’s Candidates (50:43) by Tom Williamson
Science Tales (57:01) by Lisa Chalkley (ft Darryl Cunningham)
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brain Two

Follow-Up Links

Episode 121 – 3rd February 2012

This week we catch up with a conference on blasphemy, find out the problems with the welfare reforms, and the LADS have loads of BANTER about that awful “UniLad” article.


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CFI Blasphemy Conference (2:04) by James O’Malley & Liz Lutgendorff
(ft Andrew Copson, Austin Dacey and Maryam Namazie)
Welfare Reform (15:17) by Steven Sumpter
UniLad (25:44) by Dean Burnett
Deaths in Custody (34:52) by Georgia Gale Grant
Nuclear Theatre (41:27) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Nicholas Kent)
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

CFI UK Blasphemy Conference

Recorded on the 28th January 2012 at Conway Hall in London, CFI UK (and the British Humanist Association) organised a conference on blasphemy. This event focused on the criminalization of religious hatred, defamation, and insult under European human rights, and how this functions as a de facto blasphemy law.

It was organised and introduced by Dr Stephen Law of Heythrop College, University of London and Editor of Think (Royal Institute Philosophy) Provost of Centre for Inquiry UK.

We have three of the talks available here. We hope to add the other two – pending permission from the speakers.

Andrew Copson – Blasphemy laws by the back door

Andrew Copson has been chief executive of the British Humanist Association since 2010 before which he spent five years coordinating the association’s campaigns work including on blasphemy and free speech issues.

After decades of campaigning the criminal offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel have been abolished but censorship of blasphemous content and even threatened prosecution of blaspheme’s continues in the UK. Andrew explores how corporate interests, opaque advertising regulations and new criminal laws continue to stifle free expression, free criticism and mockery of gods and religions.

Austin Dacey – The Future of Blasphemy

Austin Dacey, Ph.D., is a representative to the United Nations for the International Humanist and Ethical Union and the author of The Future of Blasphemy:

If blasphemy is an affront to values that are held sacred, then it is too important to be left to the traditionally religious. In the public contestation of the sacred, each of us—secular and religious alike—has equal right and authority to speak on its behalf and equal claim to redress for its violation. Laws against blasphemy and “religious hatred” are inherently discriminatory because they give traditional faith communities a legal remedy that is not available to religious minorities and secularists when their sense of the sacred is violated.

Maryam Namazie – Blasphemy, Offence, and Islamophobia limiting Citizen Rights

Maryam will be speaking on how accusations of blasphemy, offensive speech and ‘Islamophobia’ censor and restrict free speech, limit citizen rights, and aid and abet Islamism. Maryam Namazie is Spokesperson of the One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain, the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran. She is also National Secular Society Honorary Associate and the NSS’ 2005 Secularist of the Year award winner and was selected one of the top 45 women of the year 2007 by Elle magazine Quebec.

March & Rally for a Secular Europe

So today we were at the March & Rally for a Secular Europe in London.

The following is a Pod Delusion Extra podcast of the rally in its entirety – take a listen!


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Here’s some of the audio we posted throughout the day…

The first people were arriving:

Some right-wing secularists:

The AHS (Student Groups) Contingent:

Getting ready to set off on the march (ft National Secular Society Executive Director Keith Porteous Wood):

BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson leading the chants as the march sets off:

The Pod Delusion’s Liz Lutgendorff starts a chant:

Chatting to David Pollock, President of the European Humanist Federation:

Drew from the Pagan Federation at the rally:

Episode 100 – 2nd September 2011


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Analogue Missions (1:45) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Prof Gordon Osinski)
FOIA (12:54) by James Firth
Deconversion (21:07) by Drew Rae
Guides Inclusivity (28:32) by Salim Fadhley (ft Tessa Kendall)
Too Many Ministers (35:39) by Cory Hazelhurst
Spine Wizards (42:30) by Trish Hann
Celebrity Skeptics (47:54) by Keir Liddle
Secular Europe Campaign (53:42) by James O’Malley (ft Andrew Copson)
QED 2010 (61:10) by James O’Malley (ft Michael Marshall)
The sketches were by David Lovesy, Brian Two and Steve Clark

Follow-Up Links:

Do Bishops have a place in a reformed House of Lords?

Recorded on the 29th June 2011, the All Party Humanist Group held a debate in Parliament at one of their meetings over whether Church of England Bishops should retain their automatic places in the House of Lords following the proposed reforms.

The debate was chaired by Lord Warner, and arguing for the bishops was Christina Rees (a member of the General Synod, though attending in a personal capacity) and Paul Bickley (from the thinktank Theos). Arguing against the bishops was Shadow Constitutional Reform Minister Chris Bryant and BHA Chief Exec Andrew Copson.


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BHA Conference – Andrew Copson and Peter Atkins

The Pod Delusion are proud to bring you recordings from the British Humanist Association 2011 annual conference, which was this year in Manchester. This first recording features Andrew Copson and Peter Atkins. Blurb below…


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On being: The limitless power of science : Peter Atkins

Humanity should be proud of the fact that, through its collective endeavour, it has stumbled on to a way of discovering reliable knowledge about the nature, composition, and functioning of the universe. The question remains, however, whether its contribution to human understanding is boundless. I shall identify the great questions of existence that have been the focus of myth-making since mankind first sought to make sense of nature, and argue that the scientific method is capable of answering them all. Of course, it is necessary to distinguish the empty questions from the real, and it is important not to be distracted by questions that have simply been invented by philosophers and theologians. The essential point is that science is driven by optimism, and its current success encourages us to believe that it will resolve the question of the origin of the universe and the emergence of that most extraordinary property of matter, consciousness, just as it has revealed the process by which the biosphere has emerged and as it has illuminated the processes of birth and death. I shall argue that its power is limitless and that, through displacing poetic and vivid myths, it succeeds in deepening our wonder.